Bulgaria's Sofia-Varna Train Catches Fire in Latest Railroad Scare
The express train servicing the line between the Bulgarian capital Sofia and the Black Sea city of Varna caught on fire Wednesday.
The news was reported by the Bulgarian National Television, BTV.
The fire has been triggered by a problem in the break system. Emergency crews have stopped the composition at the Kumanitsa stop, near Sofia, after receiving a call on the 112 emergency hotline.
The relatively small fire had been quickly extinguished, the breaks fixed and the train continued on its way to Varna, where it arrived 40 minutes later than the scheduled time.
No one has been injured, but several people suffered panic attacks.
The incident with the Sofia-Varna train is the latest in a string of increasingly serious incidents shaking the country's State-owned railroad company BDZ.
On July 20, train No. 2615 of the Bulgarian State Railways BDZ caught on fire on route from the capital Sofia to the Black Sea city of Varna. The train was stopped and the 214 passengers were evacuated intact. However, the fire spread to the first two passenger cars before the fire brigade units arrived at the scene, more than an hour after the fire started, because of the rough terrain.
On June 29, 2011, a local train between Cherven Bryag and Montana in Northwestern Bulgaria had to stop near Vratsa because of a fire on board, without any victims.
On June 10, 2011, the locomotive of a freight train also caught on fire near Simeonovgrad in Southern Bulgaria, with the driver managing to flee intact.
The most severe train incident in Bulgaria since 1992 was also caused by a train fire when 9 persons were burned to death, and 9 others were injured in the night Sofia-Kardam train in February 2008 near Cherven Bryag.
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